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News News Slip, slap, slop not just for kids

In the midst of yet another heat wave, Cancer Council WA and UnionsWA today warned that those who work outdoors daily – almost half a million West Australians – and their employers need to ensure proper protection from the sun.
Cancer Council WA Director of Education and Research, Terry Slevin said:


 

Media Release 12 February 2013
Slip, slap, slop not just for kids
In the midst of yet another heat wave, Cancer Council WA and UnionsWA today warned that those who work outdoors daily – almost half a million West Australians – and their employers need to ensure proper protection from the sun.
Cancer Council WA Director of Education and Research, Terry Slevin said:
“In the midst of this horrible heat wave workers and employers need to be warned that exposure to the sun is dangerous.
“Slip, slop, slap, isn’t just a message for kids and heat wave warnings of health dangers don’t just apply to those with a medical condition.
“Australians suffer with the highest rates of skin cancer in the world and cumulative exposure to the sun is a major factor.
“Every year a conservative estimate of 34,000 skin cancers are diagnosed nationally resulting from exposure to sun at work, and around 200 are the most serious melanomas.
“The hot weather reminds everyone of the power of the sun.
“The UV index, the measure that indicates the Ultra violet radiation level, will be in the extreme range in the middle of the day.
“Sun protection is needed when ever the UV is 3 or above.
“It is however worth reminding outdoor workers and employers that the UV index can get that high –even if the temperature is not in the high 30s or low 40s.
“That is why we strongly encourage all employers to adopt good sun protection policies – particularly in the summer months. And of course we encourage workers to abide by the policy.”
“Any employer who wishes to find the UV forecast, as well as the live UV reading can do so easily on their phone or PC by visiting the Cancer Council’s website myUV.com.au”
Meredith Hammat, Acting Secretary, UnionsWA said:
“One in three working people – around half a million West Australians - work outdoors on a daily basis with the average daily exposure to sunlight being 4.4 hours.
“Those working in the agriculture, forestry and fishing, construction, mining and transportation industries are at the greatest risk.
“Heat doesn’t cause cancer, but exposure to sunlight is a major factor and it adds up over a lifetime.
“But heat can be a factor in fatigue and contributes to the risk of workplace accidents – another good reason to wear a hat.
“Regular rests and taking in water are also very, very important in this weather.
Further information:
Cancer Council’s UV site with daily UV forecasts and live UV measures:
myUV.com.au
‘Occupational exposure to ultraviolet (UV) Radiation’, Monograph Series 2011 Cancer Council Western Australia
‘National Hazard Exposure Worker Surveillance: Exposure to direct sunlight and the provision of sun exposure controls in Australian workplaces’, Safe Work Australia, 2010 (source for estimates quoted regarding skin cancers in Australia and estimates proportion of the workforce exposed to sun daily)
Labour Force, Australia, January 2013 (source for estimated WA labour force from which estimates daily sun exposure of workforce in WA derived) http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/latestProducts/6202.0Media%20Release1Jan%202013
Terry Slevin and Meredith Hammat are available for comment.
For more information contact: Philip O’Donoghue 0417 923 029 or podonoghue@unionswa.com.au

Slip Slop SlapIn the midst of yet another heat wave, Cancer Council WA and UnionsWA today warned that those who work outdoors daily – almost half a million West Australians – and their employers need to ensure proper protection from the sun.


Cancer Council WA Director of Education and Research, Terry Slevin said:
“In the midst of this horrible heat wave workers and employers need to be warned that exposure to the sun is dangerous.  


“Slip, slop, slap, isn’t just a message for kids and heat wave warnings of health dangers don’t just apply to those with a medical condition.


“Australians suffer with the highest rates of skin cancer in the world and cumulative exposure to the sun is a major factor.


“Every year a conservative estimate of 34,000 skin cancers are diagnosed nationally resulting from exposure to sun at work, and around 200 are the most serious melanomas. “The hot weather reminds everyone of the power of the sun. 
“The UV index, the measure that indicates the Ultra violet radiation level, will be in the extreme range in the middle of the day. 


“Sun protection is needed when ever the UV is 3 or above.


“It is however worth reminding outdoor workers and employers that the UV index can get that high –even if the temperature is not in the high 30s or low 40s.


“That is why we strongly encourage all employers to adopt good sun protection policies – particularly in the summer months. And of course we encourage workers to abide by the policy.”


“Any employer who wishes to find the UV forecast, as well as the live UV reading can do so easily on their phone or PC by visiting the Cancer Council’s website myUV.com.au”
Meredith Hammat, Acting Secretary, UnionsWA said:
“One in three working people – around half a million West Australians - work outdoors on a daily basis with the average daily exposure to sunlight being 4.4 hours.


“Those working in the agriculture, forestry and fishing, construction, mining and transportation industries are at the greatest risk.


“Heat doesn’t cause cancer, but exposure to sunlight is a major factor and it adds up over a lifetime.


“But heat can be a factor in fatigue and contributes to the risk of workplace accidents – another good reason to wear a hat.  


“Regular rests and taking in water are also very, very important in this weather. 



Further information:
Cancer Council’s UV site with daily UV forecasts and live UV measures:myUV.com.au


‘Occupational exposure to ultraviolet (UV) Radiation’, Monograph Series 2011 Cancer Council Western Australia: Cancer WA


‘National Hazard Exposure Worker Surveillance: Exposure to direct sunlight and the provision of sun exposure controls in Australian workplaces’, Safe Work Australia, 2010 (source for estimates quoted regarding skin cancers in Australia and estimates proportion of the workforce exposed to sun daily): Safe Work Australia

Labour Force, Australia, January 2013 (source for estimated WA labour force from which estimates daily sun exposure of workforce in WA derived) ABS

 


Terry Slevin and Meredith Hammat are available for comment.

 

 
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